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Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings Tours

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6 Reviews
Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
Measuring more than 33 feet (10 meters) high, these mammoth Maori sculptures were chiseled into the rocks on the edge of Lake Taupo in the late 1970s. Created by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell, the carvings depict Ngatoroirangi, who is said to have guided the Te Arawa tribes from their Polynesian homeland to New Zealand.

The Basics
Set high on the cliffs on the edge of Lake Taupo, these rock carvings are only accessible by water. Take a guided trip to the site a cruise boat, steamboat, or yacht, or paddle out in a kayak, and learn about the symbolic significance, myths, and meaning behind the carvings. Lake tours offer breathtaking views of the shore and the volcanic peaks of UNESCO-listed Tongariro National Park, and many include extras, such as refreshments, snacks, live fishing demonstrations, and the opportunity to swim in the lake. For a more romantic experience, opt for a sunset yacht cruise.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings are popular with travelers interested in Maori culture.
  • Kayaking tours are suitable for beginners, and equipment is provided. 
  • Note that weather conditions on Lake Taupo can be changeable, so it’s best to bring a warm outer layer with you, even in summer. 

How to Get There
The carvings are situated in the lakeside cliffs near Mine Bay, on the north shore of the lake. Access is by boat only. Boats typically depart from Lake Taupo Marina near Redoubt Street. There are several kayak launch points near Acacia Bay Road, south of Taupo. 

When to Get There
Go early in the morning or in the evening when there is less boat traffic on the lake. Evening sailings are particularly picturesque, thanks to the soft glow of sunset.

Delve into Maori Culture in Taupo
For visitors interested in learning more about and the Maori culture and history, there are several popular sights in the Taupo region. Admire the craftsmanship of the intricately carved Te Aroha o Rongoheikume meeting house at Taupo Museum, see the remains of a Maori fortified village at Opotaka Historic Reserve, or watch a traditional kapa haka performance, which includes singing, dancing, and chanting.
Address: New Zealand
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5 Tours and Activities to Experience Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings

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Maori Rock Carvings Eco Sailing Taupo

Maori Rock Carvings Eco Sailing Taupo

star-5
Relax aboard a sailing yacht on Great Lake Taupo during this sightseeing cruise to Maori rock carvings. Accessible solely by water, this impressive rock art on the cliffs of Mine Bay was created by a master carver in 1976. You’ll come up close to the 22-foot-high (10-meter) gallery and enjoy postcard views from the deck. Relax with a complimentary glass of wine or beer if you sail in the evening.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$33.24
From
US$33.24
Taking safety measures

Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo

Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo

star-4.5
Cruise around the scenic bays of Lake Taupo and admire the Maori Rock Carvings during this boat tour. Aboard the boat, listen to informative commentary about the ecology, volcanology, and cultural history of the area. Admire the impressive views of the snowy mountain tops of the UNESCO-listed Tongariro National Park and Lake Taupo's picturesque shores. See the Maori Rock Carvings depicting the legends of the local Tuwharetoa tribe. Choose from morning departure (includes tea) or afternoon departure (includes a fishing demonstration).
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$23.75
From
US$23.75
Taking safety measures

The Maori Carvings Half Day Kayak

The Maori Carvings Half Day Kayak

star-5
Take in the scenery of Lake Taupo during this half-day kayaking tour from Taupo. After a brief paddling lesson, set out in your kayak from Jerusalem Bay. Follow your guide along the shoreline of New Zealand’s largest lake to rock cliffs where you can see Maori carvings. Stop at a scenic spot for snacks and an optional swim on a tour that is suitable for all levels of experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$78.02
From
US$78.02

Maori Rock Carvings Sailing Tour Taupo

Maori Rock Carvings Sailing Tour Taupo

star-5
Experience the beauty of a scenic sailing tour to the Māori Rock Carvings, one of the most extraordinary contemporary carvings in the world. Only view-able from the water, the likeness of Ngātoroirangi towers 14-meters above Lake Taupō, surrounded by over 40 smaller carvings.. Escape from hectic life for a while and enjoy the breathtaking views around. Relax on Lake Taupōs largest charter yacht “Kindred Spirit” and enjoy the superior comfort with a large deck space and a lounge under deck for up to 12 people. Listen to our experienced skippers and learn about the history of the lake. Give the crew a hand hoisting the sails and take a turn on the wheel or just snuggle under some blankets and enjoy the wide selection of drinks. Kindred Spirit sails under full sails as much as possible or gently meanders, when it is truly calm, by a quite inboard diesel engine. Take a dip and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the largest freshwater lake in Australasia (weather dependent).
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$33.24
From
US$33.24

Cruise Kakariki to the Maori Rock Carvings

Cruise Kakariki to the Maori Rock Carvings

star-5
We have been cruising to the iconic Maori Rock Carvings since 1982. This all-year-round activity offers relaxation, fun and adventure on the water, the Kiwi way. Get right up close to this culturally significant 46 foot (14m) high rock art. Excellent, amusing and current commentary on Lake Taupo, the volcanoes and the carvings.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$27.14
From
US$27.14
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings?

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(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785